The workplace and business environment has changed radically over recent years. Globalisation, the digital revolution, other technological advances and shifting expectations from new generations of workers have all contributed to fundamentally alter the landscape.
The exact definitions vary depending on who you ask, but Millennials are often held to be that generation born between 1982 and 1996, with post-Millennials or Generation Z coming up quickly behind. It’s predicted that these two demographics will together make up more than two thirds of the workforce by 2020 and, compared to previous generations, they present different challenges for employers and expect business change.
These generations have entered – or will enter – the workplace during the financial crisis or its still ongoing aftermath and attitudes and expectations have changed. According to numerous surveys and studies, these cohorts are more agile workers, expecting flexibility, faster progression and the option to switch their jobs more regularly. Corporations and jobs for life are no longer seen as permanent fixtures while start-ups and challengers are seen as viable alternatives.
A survey of nearly 20,000 Millennials working across 25 countries found that money was still a top priority, when looking for a job, but there were many other considerations. As well as flexibility, Millennials and Gen Z workers also look for opportunities to progress, a better work-life balance and recognition from managers and peers. They also prefer to work within organisations that share their own values and attitudes.
Relentlessly pursuing profit at the expense of everything else can ultimately prove to be short-sighted. Business change is needed in order to future-proof your business. It pays to define your business purpose and integrate it into strategic decisions, daily operations and future actions. This can help you to attract and retain the right people who will be the cornerstone of your success moving forward.
As Keller points out: “A clear purpose, based on human values – that is authentic and consistent with businesses’ actions – is a foundation stone upon which reputation and performance are built. Spending the time to put purpose at the core and to live it across every facet of the enterprise powers the sustainable growth all business leaders seek.”